TOPIC: ISSUE208 - "The way people look, dress, and act reveals their attitudes and interests. You can tell much about a society's ideas and values by observing the appearance and behavior of its people."
It is not uncommon to see more and more people dress in strange clothes made by themselves with their original imagination nowadays. This seems to be a growing trend to show one's character and view of life. Indeed, some ideas and values emerge through people's appearance. But some of the ways people act or look can only be explained thoroughly under the scrutiny of the related cultural backgrounds, instead of simply observing the surface.
Admittedly, some of the appearance or behavior of masses of people convey us their attitudes and interests in a direct manner. To some people, in order to have their unique ideas spread, they show them as simple as possible. For instance, Michael Tyson, a notable professional boxer in the United States, had a tattoo of portray of Chinese great leader Mao on his arm. What's more, there are a considerable number of NBA basketball players tattoo Chinese characters on their different parts of the body. Are they expecting others to know what the characters exactly mean? I don't know the answer to this question. Yet, I know for sure that the people I mentioned above wants to tell us that they are really amazed by the mysterious Chinese culture. Obviously, we are able to see the ideas people hold to certain things through such kind of superficial deliverance.
However, other outward appearances, which are often linked with cultural or historical background, may not be interpreted straightly. It is the related background knowledge that makes it unfamiliar to us, or even unacceptable. The example can be given as the kilt, a knee-length garment originating in the traditional dress of men and boys in the Scottish Highlands of the 16th century. The most incomprehensible thing, to people who don't know the history of Scotland, might be that the kilt is mainly worn by men. Actually, they wear kilts because the UK once released a law to ban skirts in Scotland and ask Scotchmen to be dress in UK's style. After 30 years of revolution, Scotchmen succeeded and wear kilts for celebration. If we don't know this history background, we may think, that Scotchmen are less manly, for it is women who wear dress in most traditions. In short, outward appearance is not always easy to understand. Searching for more information about it would be necessary if we find it hard to know it at first sight.
In fact, whether we are able to know about values and ideas of a society from the outward behaviors and appearance largely depends on how it is formed and what the source of it. On the one hand, the creators of the outrageous behaviors or appearance expect their ideas to be easily accessible, they may attain their goals. On the other hand, other appearance comes into being with historical events or else, so a better understanding of this sort of appearance and behaviors calls for knowledge linked with its background.
In sum, while it is true that some points of view get across with the way people's act, wearing, the rest of behaviors and appearance may mask the real stories or identity behind their outward look. A society's view can be better known with both observation and deep investigation.